Sofia Vegezzi and Lais Menezes, Writers
Between 20-27th of September, the streets were filled with the biggest climate mobilization until today. The roots of this movement began in August 2018 thanks to Greta Thunberg, a student who started to protest by not going to school so the Swedish Government would reduce carbon dioxide emissions as provided for in the Paris agreement on climate change. Months have passed, but her intention to actively speak up for the environment has remained and is followed every day by more and more students, thanks to the school strikes under the name Fridays for Future, succeeding in every part of the world. During her latest speech on September 23rd at the United Nations Assembly, she shouted:
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosys
tems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
As a result of these words, on September 27th over 7.6 million people raised their voices in the squares and streets
of 185 countries such as Germany, the United States and Canada seeking to secure a better future and try to create a new era.
In Downtown Vancouver, the march organized by Sustainabiliteens and Climate Strike Canada has involved mostly high school students. School districts from Metro Vancouver and the lower mainland encouraged its teenagers to participate by allowing them to miss a day of classes. Therefore, a lot of people from Walnut Grove Secondary School who joined the movement found that:
“[The] experience from the Climate strike was very impactful and something very cool to be part of, seeing everyone that it is affecting is really eye opening.”
-Olivia McLean, Grade 12
Certainly taking part in these events will help politicians around the world to realize the gravity of the environmental conditions, but perhaps it may not be enough. Here are some tips to keep improving the ecosystem in everyday life:
- Talk about it with everyone: carry on the debate on climate within your circle of friends, family, social networks, and remind them that this will not disappear, and organize actions online and in real life.
- Put it on the political and activism level: always vote, because every election is an opportunity to choose candidates who fight for climate justice – even members of your Student Council.
- Try to change what’s around you: ask yourself what you could improve at your school, job, and community, for example by reducing the disposable packaging. Don’t forget to apply this to your life, with the products you buy and how you travel.
- Limit your meat consumption: intensive farming is responsible for 80% of the destruction of rainforests and contributes to 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions per year. Learn how and where animals are reared when you want to eat any derivative, especially beef.
- Keep yourself informed: during your next Netflix evening, check out one of the climate-themed documentaries – such as “Racing extinction”. Always research and verify sources, so the next time someone asks you why you’re on a climate strike, you’ll know what to say.